The growing phase of Switzerland (1291 – 1815):
- 1291: The 3 states Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden – the so
called « Ur-Kantone » unite against the surrounding aggressors. A citizen of each
state swears on august, 1st 1291 on a small mountain named « Rütli »:
will be a one and only nation of brothers … »
This leads to the term
confederation (« Eidgenossenschaft »)
- 1332: Luzern joins the Swiss Federation
- 1351: Zürich joins the Swiss Federation
- 1352: Glarus and Zug join the Swiss Federation
- 1353: Bern joins the Swiss Federation – 8 states form the
acht alten Orte (« eight old states »)
- 1460: Foundation of the first university of Switzerland at
- 1481: Fribourg and Solothurn join the Swiss Federation
- 1500: Beginning of a new area called « Renaissance », people
become interested in science.
- 1501: Basel and Schaffhausen join the Swiss Federation
- 1513: Appenzell joins the Swiss Federation
- 1522: Beginning of the « Reformation »
- 1648: Declaration of Independence – Switzerland becomes an
- 1803: Sankt Gallen, Graubünden, Thurgau, Ticino, Aargau and
Vaud join the Swiss Federation
- 1812: The Swiss Federation declares its neutrality.
- 1815: Valais, Neuchâtel and Genéve join the Swiss
Federation – Switzerland gets its final boundaries
The more recent history of Switzerland (1815 – 2000):
- 1848: The Swiss Federation changes from a Union of States
to a Confederation. Its first Federal Constitution (« Bundesverfassung ») is set
- 1864: Foundation of the International Red Cross (IKRK).
- 1872: Start of the construction of the railway across the
alps (« Gotthardbahn »).
- 1882: Opening of the « Gotthardbahn ».
- 1932: Swiss physician Auguste Piccard sets record when he
reaches a height of 16’940 m with his balloon. This was the first ballon
equipped with a preassure cabin.
- 1960: Jacques Piccard (son of Auguste Piccard mentioned
above) sets record when he dives together with american Don Walsh in a
Bathyscaphe (special type of submarine) called « Trieste » as low as 10’916 m
below sea level.
- 1971: Swiss people vote for the women’s suffrage.
- 1978: Some villages leave the state Bern and found the new
- 2-oct-1984: The combined federal assembly (« Vereinigte
Bundesversammlung ») elected Elisabeth Kopp as the first woman as Bunderat
(executive authority). Ms. Kopp had to step back on 12.1.1989 due to some
possible illegal activities of her husband.
- 1992: Swiss people vote against becoming a member of the
EEA (european economic area)
- 31-jul-1992: Claude Nicollier (born 2-sep-1944) takes off
on board of the space shuttle Atlantis (ST-46) and becomes the first Swiss in
10-mar-1993: The combined federal assembly
(« Vereinigte Bundesversammlung ») elected Ruth Dreifuss as the second
woman as Bunderat (executive authority).
- 2-dec-1993: Claude Nicollier’s second journey on board of a
space shuttle. The mission of Endeavour (STS-61) is seen as the most difficult
one so far, the repair of the Hubble space telescope. It is Claude Nicollier’s
task to catch the telescope with the robotic arm of the space shuttle.
- 1999: Ruth Dreifuss became the
first female president of the Bundesrat (« Bundesratspräsident »).
11-mar-1999: The combined federal assembly
(« Vereinigte Bundesversammlung ») elected Ruth Metzler as the third woman as
Bunderat (executive authority). Ruth Metzler is 34 years young
20-mar-1999: Swiss Scientist Bertrand Piccard
(son of Jacques Piccard mentioned above) and british co-pilot Brian Jones have
become the first balloonists to circumnavigate the globe with a non-stop,
non-refuelled flight. It has taken the team 19 days, 21 hour and
55 minutes to travel the 46’759 km on board of Breitling-Orbiter 3.
- 18-apr-1999: Swiss people accept a new Federal Constitution
(« Bundesverfassung ») on a vote.
- 21-may-2000: The Swiss people accept the bilateral
contracts with the European Union